Esa Khalief and and the tale of sad Krishna consciousnessHanuman das
Another suicide at the ISKCON Gita Nagari Farm.
ISKCON News report:
On the Passing of Bhakta Esa Khalief
January 14, 2021
Dear ISKCON Family,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
We are shocked and saddened by the sudden demise of our beloved friend and resident member, Esa Khalief, on January 14, 2021, at ISKCON Gita Nagari. Many of us are struggling to make sense of Esa’s passing.
Esa spent 14 months at ISKCON Gita Nagari and during his stay here he was always helpful, enthusiastic, and devoted to the process of Krishna Consciousness. He will be deeply missed by all those who knew him. The absence of his vibrant personality will forever leave a void in the hearts of Gita Nagari residents and community members.
Although we know the soul is eternal, death can still be a bitter experience. We are also reminded that many people in these times, including Vaishnavas, struggle with deeply personal issues that others may not realize. As a community, we must accelerate our shared efforts to provide support and understanding to those who are in need.
Please continue to pray for Esa and his family and friends. I thank you for your prayers, and your concern for the wellbeing of all the residents, community members, and friends of Gita Nagari Farm.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Dhruva Maharaj Das -Community President
ISKCON Gita Nagari
Another corporate style, brainless, emotionless PR stunt which doesn’t really explain anything. “Many of us struggling to make sense of Esa passing?” Really?
Allow me to retort.
Esa joined Krishna consciousness at least as early as 2015:
By going through his profile, we can find an occasional depressing post:
What really happened
Here are three emails that I exchanged with an anonymous reporter:
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 2021 02:07:11 +0000 To: Hanuman das <email@example.com> Subject: Suicide of devotee in Gita Nagari
Some weeks ago a devotee was asked to leave the community. He was found the next day dead from hanging.
The contact person there is firstname.lastname@example.org and the GBC is Devamrta Swami email@example.com
Many devotees are planning to leave the community. It is being run as a business. They have no care for anyone performing sadhana just that they work to earn money for the place.
I replied to find out some details:
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 2021 10:54:08 +0100 Subject: Re: Suicide of devotee in Gita Nagari From: Hanuman das <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Really? How about telling me his name? To make investigation easier for me?
Who asked him to leave the community and why? And what is the evidence for that claim?
ys Hanuman das
And I received clarification:
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 2021 18:40:06 +0000 To: Hanuman das <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Suicide of devotee in Gita Nagari
I dont know his name, He was asked to leave by the TP Dhurva Maharaja and his wife Parijata.
Why he was asked to leave is becuase he got into a fight with another devotee – as they tell me, all the devotees are on edge because there is not sadhana program and everyone is over worked. They are expanding without having enough people.
How I know about this – many devotees have heard about it.
Contacting authorities at Gita Nagari
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 2021 12:17:44 +0100 Message-ID: <CAHEdfkEesS=8RUQcnQg_H+2LCQTNTC_bu9Yg=u9RBdcNqE=HqQ@mail.gmail.com> Subject: question about Esa Khalief From: Hanuman das <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com
please accept my humble obeisances.
My name is Hanuman das and I am running an investigative journalism website which focuses on stories within the Hare Krishna movement.
I got anonymous email yesterday claiming that bhakta Esa Khalief was asked to leave the Gita Nagari farm just before he committed suicide. Is that true?
ys Hanuman das
Reply by Gita Nagari authorities
[No reply received]
Another victim was kicked out after 5 years of service. Authorities remain silent. I guess I will go with the version of the anonymous guy.
Is Krishna consciousness really so sad that we need to perform suicide?
Krishna consciousness is naturally joyful. That is if you practice real Krishna consciousness. A real follower of Srila Prabhupada is always an utterly honest person, a person who is actually reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and trying to understand them. A person who is chanting Hare Krishna appreciating the beauty of Krishna consciousness. No reason to be sad for a brave person who started his journey back to Godhead. Actually, a truly Krishna conscious person is tasting the beauty of Krishna consciousness every day. Chanting Hare Krishna is joyful, offering food to Krishna is joyful, reading Srila Prabhupada’s books is joyful.
If by the evolutionary process of philosophical life one happens to reach to the platform of intellectual life and understands that he is not this material body, but is a spirit soul, then by evolution of spiritual life he comes to the understanding of the Supreme Lord or the Supreme Soul. When one develops his relationship with Him and executes devotional service, that stage of life is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the ānandamaya stage. Ānandamaya is the blissful life of knowledge and eternity. As it is said in the Vedānta-sūtra, ānandamayo ‘bhyāsāt. The Supreme Brahman and the subordinate Brahman, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the living entities, are both joyful by nature. (Krishna book, Prayers by personified Vedas)
However, developing Krishna consciousness and joining corrupt movement are two very different things. Obtaining your ISKCON membership card is a sign of great misfortune. Who can lead a really joyful life within the ruthless society which suppresses freedom of speech, where all the leaders are utterly dishonest? Just watching spineless ISKCON gurus extracting money and free labor from brainless sheep members brings tears to my eyes.
Ultimately, trying to make spiritual advancement in a corrupt society, can end up in several ways, and none of them are joyful.
- You will remain stupid till the end of your natural life and consider Radhanath baba and his GBC supporters to be pure devotees. Dying stupid doesn’t really help anything and it is definitely not joyful.
- As time goes by, you will understand the hypocrisy of being an ISKCON member, but you will remain silent since ISKCON provides you with food, shelter, and/or social life. Thus, you yourself will become corrupt. This is also not joyful life.
- You will desire to remain an honest follower of Srila Prabhupada, you will start voicing your concerns, and thus you will be kicked out of the corrupt movement. Because honest people can not survive in the corrupt movement.
The immediate result of option 3 is not joyful right away, rather it is joyful in the long run. You will experience an ISKCON abstinence crisis. You will have to patch up all the wrong philosophical ideas you accumulated in ISKCON, you will have to learn to think with your own head. You will have to forget about all your so-called “friends” who never contacted you after you were kicked out. If you were a full-time member, you will have to learn to survive in the material world. You will actually have to work to maintain yourself.
As time goes by, you will understand that being a member of ISKCON is just a phase in your spiritual life, and rejecting corrupt people will give you wings of honesty which will enable you to practice genuine Krishna consciousness. This when the joyful life starts.
When you get thrown in phase 3, it might look scary, because the change always looks scary. Therefore some people kill themselves when a person who they loved leaves them, people kill themselves when they lose a job, people lose their marbles if they are sent to war (aka PTSD), and people can definitely kill themselves when they are thrown out of the pseudo-religious organizations. But you should know that you are definitely not the first person who was thrown out of ISKCON, and you are definitely not the last.
The only permanent thing in this material world is change. Although we long for a stable position, a stable position is not possible in the material world. We can’t remain a kid, we must grow up, we have to leave our parents eventually, and start maintaining ourselves. We procreate and we become parents, but our children will not remain children forever, they will surely grow up and leave. And we will grow old and die. A stable position is not possible in the material world.
The greatest poet of our times writes:
The Lord continued: My dear mother, devotees who receive such transcendental opulences are never bereft of them; neither weapons nor the change of time can destroy such opulences. Because the devotees accept Me as their friend, relative, son, preceptor, benefactor and Supreme Deity, they cannot be deprived of their possessions at any time.
PURPORT: It is stated in Bhagavad-gītā that one may elevate himself to the higher planetary systems, even up to Brahmaloka, by dint of pious activities, but when the effects of such pious activities are finished, one again comes back to this earth to begin a new life of activities. Thus even though one is promoted to the higher planetary system for enjoyment and a long duration of life, still that is not a permanent settlement. But as far as the devotees are concerned, their assets—the achievement of devotional service and the consequent opulence of Vaikuṇṭha, even on this planet—are never destroyed. In this verse Kapiladeva addresses His mother as śānta-rūpa, indicating that the opulences of devotees are fixed because devotees are eternally fixed in the Vaikuṇṭha atmosphere, which is called śānta-rūpa because it is in the mode of pure goodness, undisturbed by the modes of passion and ignorance. Once one is fixed in the devotional service of the Lord, his position of transcendental service cannot be destroyed, and the pleasure and service simply increase unlimitedly. For the devotees engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in the Vaikuṇṭha atmosphere, there is no influence of time. In the material world the influence of time destroys everything, but in the Vaikuṇṭha atmosphere there is no influence of time or of the demigods because there are no demigods in the Vaikuṇṭha planets. (TLK 38)
Thus, if you kill yourself after being kicked out of ISKCON, that means that the ruthless corrupt people messed you up. You should actually celebrate when you get kicked out of ISKCON since this is the best confirmation of your sincerity. You should happily practice your Krishna consciousness outside of ISKCON and that is the best way to fight people who think that “ISKCON is the only way”.